28. Mind The Gap!
When we left off in the last post, EDC were flying, top of the table and unbeaten in the league. This great run of early season form had also seen the emergence of Tuy Oudom, a young 17 year old right winger from the Reserves who had taken his opportunity in the first team with both hands. To date he had scored 7 goals making him the top goalscorer in the C-League, that is until he got injured in the last game, a 5-1 thrashing of Svay Rieng. This now meant a month to six weeks on the sidelines for the teenager.
While I was delighted with his performances I also did not want us to become too dependant on him. K.Udom despite playing well was missing chances, while Sok Chanraksmey still looked a bit spooked from the monk's curse at Angkor Wat. Taboula, while highly promising blows hot and cold, but he is just 19 and Veasna was having a great season, but his role is to create goals rather than score them himself. His chances created were so often being missed by others.
This run of fine form had been down to a 17 year old kid who was now lying on the treatment table and will miss the top of the table clash against Nagaworld.
Match 9: EDC v Nagaworld 14/05/22
This is the game we have all been waiting for, the visit of our nemesis, Nagaworld. Tied at the top of the table on 19 points a piece, this is the big top of the table clash that the whole of Cambodia is talking about. George Kelechi may have retired and taken up scouting, but they still have the dangerous Japanese forward, Kawabata, along with the pacy Ly Ravy and of course former EDC winger and big stupid baby, Math Fasal. Throw in Sonny Makarna and his supposed antics at Angkor Wat and we have many many reasons to beat Nagaworld today.
I keep faith with the 4-2-3-1 formation. Sos Suhana comes in for Tuy Oudom, while Pin Saren is suspended so Khemarin keeps his place with Daravon coming back into central defence. I am going to attack this lot as I do not think they are the force they were last season. What the hell, playing a tactical game against them last season didn’t really work so let's attack and see what happens....
Team: Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravaon, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, Leap Bo, O.Udom, Veasna, Sos Suhana, Taboula
EDC 4-1 Nagaworld
Suhana 8 Ly Ravy 50
Yeeeeesss! Revenge! Sonny Makara, Sam Chanvirak (manager last season), Kawabata, George Kelechi, Chataratana, Monks at Angkor Wat, Your boys took one hell of a beating!
What a win! Amazing. This was an electrifying performance which frightened the living daylights out of our fierce rivals Nagaworld!
On 7 minutes Ratana threw the ball to Veasna, who laid off to Raymond Etim who curled in a peach of a cross to the far post where Sos Suhana was there to poke home. A great start for EDC!
Then, a great all round team goal. Khemarin headed away their attack. The ball fell to the impressive Leap Bo who clipped the ball forward towards Taboula. Their defender missed the ball completely, allowing the Nigerian to run freely onto the ball and smash home for 2-0. Taboula is bullying their defence and they don’t know how to handle him. From the goal kick, the ball is missed again by the defender and Taboula just trots through and fires home for 3-0, EDC are in electric dreamland!
A good move in midfield by Nagaworld results in Krya finding space on the right wing who crossed for Ly Ravy to slot home at the far post. 3-1. Squeaky bum time.
Veasna swung in the free kick and Maol Daravon nodded home at the far post 4-1! Never in doubt! I gave a late debut to Matt Dara and symbolically brought Sok Chanraksmey on so he could be on the pitch at the end to exorcise his demons. Brilliant game, brilliant performance. There’s no stopping us now!
Whatsmore the Nagaworld manager banged the table in frustration during post match press conference! The tables are turned! Come on!!!
The League Table
1st EDC 22 pts
2nd Nagaworld 19
3rd Khemara 18
4th Boeung Ket 15
5th Phnom Penh Crown 15
The Vultures Are Circling (again)
It is one minute past midnight on 15th May 2022 and the phone has not stopped ringing. Bids for my players are coming in left right and centre and once more I do not know what my squad is going to look like for the second half of the season. The deal we made back in pre-season has enabled this and so it is down to the individual loyalty of the players. We have given them generous appearance fees plus other bonuses, but it is just a case of hoping they want to stay at the club which is currently three points clear at the top the C-League.
Already bids have been made for Veasna, Channroeurn, Etim, Ouch Udom and Ratana..Watch this space!
Match 10: Solitio Angkor v EDC 21/05/22
Our old foes from the first season have been promoted back to the C-League but they are not faring too well again, sitting down in 11th, just above the relegation zone. If they are anything like the team we played before they will be determined and should not be underestimated. We are a lot stronger these days and line up in our trusted 4-2-3-1 with Pin Saren returning to central defence and Sann Suhana replacing Leap Bo in midfield for a more attacking line up.
Team: Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Sann Suhana, Veasna, Sok Suhana, Taboula
Solitio Angkor 0-0 EDC
This was certainly after the Lord Mayor’s show following on from the Nagaworld game. I think the FM gods decided we were not going to score a goal today. We created chance after chance after chance, but just could not stick the ball in the onion bag and Chanraksmey looked cursed once again, Taboula was busy but ineffective, Veasna and Sos Suhana were not themselves and O. Udom perhaps had other things on his mind. Our opponents looked dangerous from set plays and Kong Rafat was called upon to make some good saves. Having said that we still deserved to win, but their keeper was unbeatable. Two dropped points, but hopefully not a complete disaster..
An EDC fan Ny Boris tweeted: “Absolutely fuming. Our strikers couldn’t finish a dinner,” which just about summed things up..
Mind The Gap!
The Solitio Angkor match was our last game for a month. While this was good news for young Oudom because it gave him time to recover, it meant we could badly lose momentum, especially after two great results against Svay Rieng and the big one against Nagaworld. The players being part time had to work extra hours at the Grid in order to make up for the lost football income. As all of them were on an appearance fee based contracts this lack of action left a hole in their pockets which needed filling. I often noticed a difference during these periods as with no fixture for several weeks it was harder for them to maintain focus in training and they were often more tired than usual due to their longer shifts in their day jobs.
This gap in fixtures was also extended by our early departure from the Hun Sen Cup and we just had to sit out the final weekend of the gap without a game. The next league match is a trip to the Champions, Boeung Ket. A difficult game, which would have been made easier with the form and confidence we have accrued due to the last two big wins and the momentum we have created.
At what cost would this month long gap and loss of momentum have on EDC's season? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!